Channel Swimmers - Peter Fergus and Montserrat Tresserras

Channel Swimmers - Peter Fergus and Montserrat Tresserras

Peter Fergus and Montserrat Tresserras posing in front of the Captain Webb memorial when it was outside The White Cliffs Hotel.

Montserrat had two successful swims; 1958 France-England 14hrs 14mins and 1961 England-France 16hrs 25mins. She had one unsuccessful swim in 1959, time 14hrs 16mins

General Franco presented her with the award of Civil Merit, the highest civil award. She was the first Spanish person to swim the English Channel. 

The CSA recognises her as the first Lady to swim the Channel in both directions. The CSA will not recognise Florence Chadwick’s 1950 France-England swim.

Peter Fergus had one successful swim in 1960, England to France, time 16hrs 31mins. His pilot was Capt. Hutchinson and Mike Jennings was crew.

Peter has swam Windermere,Torbay, Coniston, etc. 

Image shows the memorial statue to Captain Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the English Channel.

The inscription below the bust of Captain Webb reads: Capt. Matthew Webb Born Dawley 1848 Died Niagra 1883 Swam from Dover to Calais Aug 24-25 1875 Erected by Public Subscription 1910.

Matthew Webb 1875: The first man to swim the Channel 24/8/1875. Dived in from the Admiralty Pier and landed near Calais after 21 hours 45 minutes. Had earlier failed in an attempt on 12/8/1875. Born at Dawley, Shrops., on 19/1/1848

On his swim he was accompanied by the Dover lugger ‘Ann’ piloted by George Toms and crewed by Dodd, Bowles, Jell, Gates, Decent and Stanley. Also on board were Webb’s cousin G.H. Ward, Charles Baker the diver and pacemaker, and local journalists Bavington Jones, Warman, Payne and Wilkinson (also representing nationals) plus Bell, an artist for the Illustrated London News.

Webb was one of 12 children of Thomas and Sarah Webb. His father was a Doctor and the family moved to Coalbrookdale after Matthews’s birth. He served a 3 year apprenticeship as a seaman with Rathbone Bros. of Liverpool and became a national hero after diving into the sea mid-Atlantic to rescue a man overboard whilst second mate on Cunards ‘Russia’, travelling New York to Liverpool.

Married at London 27/4/1880 to Madelaine Kate Chaddock. Two children, Matthew jnr. and Helen.

He was killed attempting to swim Niagara Falls in 1883.

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